An auto repair company has outgrown its current location at 17519 Chesterfield Airport Road and is looking to expand.
Mase LLC, owner of Car Craft Autobody, is seeking to expand its building size to 60,000 square feet to make room for the 65% increase in car crash business it has had within a two-year time period, said attorney Mike Doster, at the Planning Commission public hearing Aug. 23.
The current development criteria allows a maximum of 40,000 square feet total for all buildings on the site, including any storage sheds and a loading dock.
The business has occupied the premise since 2013, when it had only 5% car crash business, according to Doster, who said the company anticipates that number growing to 80% of its business within two years.
“In our opinion, it’s a success story in Chesterfield,” Doster said. “They have thrived throughout the pandemic and because of the growth of their business, they need to expand and update their facility.”
Starting out repairing domestic and foreign vehicles, the focus is now on aluminum and carbon fiber vehicles such as Tesla, Aston Martin, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, Porsche and Maserati.
The business is located in the plaza where a Jaguar Land Rover dealership is under construction.
In addition to increasing its footprint, the developer is seeking to retain access onto Chesterfield Airport Road.
Currently, direct access to Chesterfield Airport Road is permitted. However, that access could be eliminated when a proposed connector road (either to Arnage Road or Caprice Drive) is completed, city planner Chris Dietz said.
Last year, TSG Chesterfield Airport LLC, an affiliate of The Staenberg Group, extended Arnage Road from its terminus (300 feet west of Arnage Boulevard) westward approximately 900 feet, stopping just east of the existing drive serving 17519 Chesterfield Airport Road. Since Arnage Road is now constructed, the developer of the Car Craft property is requesting that the language be modified to allow the site to retain that access to Chesterfield Airport Road with right turns only, until a connector road is provided to Caprice Drive, Dietz said.
However, given the successful operation of the Lou Fusz Ford dealership to the west, it is unlikely that Arnage Road will extend further west to Caprice Drive in the near term, he said.
TSG, which owns several lots near the site, engaged the Lochmueller Group to do a traffic impact study in the area.
The traffic study recommended that the existing access drive to the site be retained and restricted to right turns only at Chesterfield Airport Road. Once Arnage Road is extended west to Caprice Drive, it would provide connectivity to various commercial entities, while alleviating congestion at the unsignalized intersection adjacent to Autozone.
Therefore, the concept of retaining and improving the existing drive serving 17519 Chesterfield Airport Road, connecting it to Arnage Road and allowing it to serve as the interim western terminus of the road network serving the area has been proposed.
Julie Nolfo, of Lochmuller, said the goal is to create a roadway similar in nature to THF Boulevard on the south side of Chesterfield Airport Road, with connections at both the eastern and western terminuses and intermittent access.
Brandon Harp, with Civil Engineering Design Consultants, said Car Craft currently has one main building and three open-air sheds. The preliminary development shows an expansion of the larger building for auto repair and two buildings for storage of vehicles. The company is also looking to expand the parking and pavement around the buildings.
For now, nothing is planned for the north side of the property, Harp said.
Car Craft is also requesting to allow stormwater detention within the structure setback area.
With the increased stormwater management requirements, the developer is looking for unique and creative places to put stormwater management facilities, he said.
No vote was taken at the Planning Commission meeting.